As far as Warren Richey knew, his life was on course. A reporter with a beautiful wife and talented son, Richey couldn’t imagine how it could be any better....Then his marriage falls apart and he can’t imagine how it could be any worse.
The divorce leaves Richey questioning everything, while struggling to find a way forward. To get his bearings, he enters the first Ultimate Florida Challenge, an all-out twelve-hundred-mile kayak race around Florida.
The UFC is less of a race than it is a dare or a threat. The thirty-day deadline sets a grueling, twenty-four-hour-a-day pace through shark- , alligator- , and even python-infested waters. But those twelve hundred miles are only a fraction of a journey that pulls Richey back to when he was embedded with troops in Iraq, reporting on missing children, and hiking the mountains of Montana with his son, and shows him where he went wrong, where he went right, and how to do it better the second time around.
Warren Richey’s memoir Without a Paddle is a remarkable physical and emotional journey that cuts to the heart of what it means to be a man, a husband, and a father.
About the Author
WARREN RICHEY's career as a journalist has taken him from his hometown paper in Red Bank, New Jersey, to assignments around the world. Currently with "The Christian Science Monitor," he splits his time between Florida and Washington, D.C.
Advance Praise for Without a Paddle
“As in the best of adventure literature, the physical journey in Without a Paddle is merely a portal through which Richey guides the reader on a voyage across the ocean of the heart. Read it. Go with him. It's a trip you'll never forget.”
—Mark Jenkins, author of A Man’s Life: Dispatches from Dangerous Places
“In his great paddle around Florida, Warren Richey braced for battle against sharks, pythons, and crazed drunken motorboaters, but his most formidable foe turned out to be middle-aged self-doubt. This book is for anyone who believes in the redemptive value of hard physical challenge, and who believes that age is just a number.”
—Mark Obmascik, author of Halfway to Heaven: My White-knuckled—and Knuckleheaded—Quest for the Rocky Mountain High, winner of the 2009 National Outdoor Book Award
“Warren Richey—engaged in a grueling long-distance kayak race—has laid a coastal map of Florida over his inner struggle for a new life after the disappointment of a divorce. In the course of these pages, Richey measures himself against his competitors and the sea, and he considers what it means to love and be loved.”
—Lou Ureneck, author of Backcast: Fatherhood, Fly-fishing, and a River Journey Through the Heart of Alaska
“This is the best kind of book; the kind that makes every day magical. I loved it for its humor and humility, its wonderful parables and pitch-perfect storytelling, its journey of discovery within and without, and its elegant ending. Bravo, Warren Richey. Florida is lucky to have you.”
—Kim Heacox, author of The Only Kayak: A Journey in the Heart of Alaska
“Warren Richey wields a pen like he maneuvers his kayak—rapidly paced, lively, dipping between Florida lore, the wake of a failed marriage, the promise of love ahead, and the innumerable challenges of a race that can only be described as insane. A fun and invigorating ride."
—Franz Wisner, author of How the World Makes Love